Best hotel credit cards for free nights in 2024


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While airfare rates are definitely rising, ironically, they’re not the travel expense that’s soaring right now. 

According to a report by Hopper Media, from January 2022 to January 2023 the average cost of a hotel room rose 54% to $212 per night. This isn’t just a post-pandemic market correction, either; a report by American Express Global Travel found that prices will likely continue to rise throughout 2024. 

Thankfully, the credit card market is flush with options for earning free nights. All of the cards on this list either grant you a free night on your account anniversary, generous annual travel credits or both. Best of all, all five cards offer sizable welcome bonuses that can cover up to nine free nights at a decent property. 

The best credit cards for free nights in April 2024

Best overall: IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card

The IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card card includes a free anniversary night worth up to 40,000 points, a redeem-three-get-one bonus on award nights, up to 26X total on IHG purchases and a staggering six-figure welcome bonus. This card pumps out free nights like T Swift pumps out chart-topping hits, and if you’re even considering staying in an IHG property this year it’s well worth the $99 annual fee. 

IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card

Intro bonus


Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening





Annual fee $99
Regular APR 21.49%–28.49% variable


Why we like this card: If we’re talking about cards that award free nights every account anniversary–and plenty in between–the IHG One Rewards Premier is the card to beat. For starters, it offers a 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Considering a night at a Holiday Inn Express can often cost under 20,000 points, your welcome bonus can cover over a week of free nights all on its own. 

The card also offers a redeem-three-get-one award night bonus, meaning if you book three separate three-night stays with your welcome bonus, each of those can get a complimentary fourth night attached to the end of it, stretching your points even further. 

Finally, you’ll get the aforementioned free night on your account anniversary, worth up to 40,000 points (~$280) in value, which easily covers your $99 annual fee. Toss in up to 26X on IHG purchases and instant Platinum Elite status (which entitled you to complimentary upgrades) and you have an absolute powerhouse of a hotel rewards card.

Best for Hilton: Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card card from Amex offers a free anniversary night, a $100 Hilton on-property credit (good during a minimum two-night stay), a pair of $200 Hilton Resort credits and automatic Diamond status. All that combined with a 175,000-point welcome bonus should make the Aspire card’s $550 annual fee easy to shrug off for Hilton diehards.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Intro Bonus


Earn 150,000 points if you spend $6,000 in the first 6 months of account opening.





Annual fee $450
Regular APR 20.99%–29.99% variable


Why we like this card: The Hilton Honors Aspire card very much feels like a Hilton-themed Amex Platinum. Sure, with an annual fee of $450 it officially costs more a night at the Waldorf Astoria, but it easily includes enough perks, benefits and statement credits to compensate. 

For starters, you’ll get a 150,000 points if you spend $6,000 in the first 6 months of account opening–roughly $875 in value towards Hilton purchases. Next, you’ll have two semi-annual $200 Hilton Resort credits to spend, a $100 Hilton on-property credit, $200 flight credit, $189 CLEAR Plus credit and will earn up to 14X points per dollar on Hilton stays. Oh, and don’t bother upgrading your stay during checkout, since you’ll have complimentary Diamond status which entitles you to space-available upgrades, lounge access, elite gifts and more. 

Perhaps best of all, your free anniversary night covers virtually any Hilton property that isn’t a Club, Vacation Club or Grand Vacation Club. So as long as you hold onto the Aspire card, you’ll have an annual overnight at the Waldorf to look forward to. 

All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by Fortune Recommends™.

Best for Marriott: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

While it doesn’t quite reach the heights of the IHG One Rewards Premier card, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card is still a solid choice for Marriott fans since it grants a free anniversary night, three-night welcome bonus, 15 Elite Night credits and up to 6X towards Marriott purchases for a modest $95 annual fee.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

Intro bonus


Earn 3 free nights (valued up to 150,000 points) after you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months from account opening (certain hotels have resort fees).





Annual fee $95
Regular APR 21.49%–28.49% variable


Why we like this card: Like its rival the IHG One Rewards Premier, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless offers an automatic free night stay in a hotel up to 35,000 points (every year after account anniversary) ($315 in value) to help justify its $95 annual fee. You’ll also get a 3 free nights (valued up to 150,000 points) after you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months from account opening (certain hotels have resort fees), with each night worth up to 50,000 points (~$450). 

That said, since the Boundless card prefers to award nights instead of points, there’s a loss of flexibility there that makes it less ideal if you like to maximize free nights at budget properties. Thankfully, you can still rack up points pretty quickly since the card adds 6X to the 11X you’ll get for being a Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite member, which is automatic with the card.

Best for Hyatt: World of Hyatt Credit Card

The World of Hyatt Credit Card offers a free night on each account anniversary, redeemable at any Category 1 through 4 property (examples of Category 4 properties include Hyatt Regency and Hyatt Place). You’ll also get a 30,000-point welcome bonus good for at least $450 in Hyatt redemption value, 2X on all purchases for the first six months on up to $15,000 in spending and instant Discoverist status. In total, a worthy $95-per-year investment for fans of Hyatt. 

World of Hyatt Credit Card

Intro bonus


30,000 bonus points if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months. Plus, up to 30,000 more bonus points, with 2X points spent on purchases that earn 1X point (up to $15,000 in the first 6 months).





Annual fee $95
Regular APR 21.49%–28.49% variable


Why we like this card: Hyatt fans don’t have a lot of options this year. There’s the World of Hyatt Card and the World of Hyatt Business Credit Card, so the choice is pretty much made for you if you don’t travel for work. 

Thankfully, your singular choice is pretty solid–the World of Hyatt Card comes with a welcome bonus worth $450+ (30,000 bonus points if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months), a handy 2X bonus on all purchases made within the first six months (on up to $15,000 worth of spending, or 30,000 points) and of course, an annual free night at category 1-4 hotel (worth up to 15,000 points). You’ll also score an additional free night at category 1-4 hotel each year you spend $15,000. 

The World of Hyatt Card also offers instant Discoverist status (Hyatt’s equivalent to “Silver”) and a nice array of ways to accelerate your path to Explorist, where you’ll unlock free upgrades. You’ll receive five qualifying night credits automatically each year plus two more for each $5,000 you spend with the card. 

So while its initial welcome bonus falls a little short of its competitors, the World of Hyatt Card compensates with big awards for big spenders.

Best for premium benefits: The Platinum Card® from American Express

The The Platinum Card® from American Express includes a up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card® (minimum 2-night stay required) at over 2,200 properties. You’ll also get complimentary benefits (e.g. room upgrades) with these bookings and a $100 onsite experience credit good towards dining/spa/etc. All of that luxury and convenience–combined with the “Plat’s” comically long list of benefits–makes it a logical choice for this list.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

See Rates and Fees

Intro bonus


Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after spending $8,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of card membership






Annual Fee $695
Purchase APR See Pay Over Time APR
Foreign Transaction Fee None


Why we like this card: With a list of benefits longer than a CVS receipt, it’s no surprise that the legendary Amex Platinum includes several perks for hotel hoppers. For starters, you’ll get a $200 Hotel Credit good towards a minimum two-night stay at any Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection property. Not only that, you’ll get complimentary benefits (such as room upgrades) with your booking and a $100 experience credit good towards dining, spa treatments and more. 

Your Platinum Card pampers you on the way to and from the hotel, too; you’ll get the widest airport lounge access in the business, an up to $200 airline fee credit, up to $200 Uber Cash, a $189 CLEAR® Plus credit to help skip the TSA line and elevated status with Hertz, Avis and National. Even after you’ve spent your $200 hotel credit, you’ll still get special treatment at Hilton and Marriott properties thanks to automatic Gold-equivalent status with each. 

Needless to say these benefits don’t come cheap–the annual fee for the Platinum is $695–but considering how you can recoup roughly half of that during your first high-end hotel stay, it could be worth the investment.

To view rates and fees of the The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page  

Best for general use: Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Though it commands a lofty $395 annual fee, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is surprisingly more about value than luxury. You’ll get a 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening (worth $750 towards hotel stays), a $300 back annually for bookings made through Capital One Travel, a 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary and 10x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. As a net result, the Venture X excels at both covering hotel stays and rapidly funding the next one.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Intro bonus


Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening






Annual Fee $395
Purchase APR 19.99%–29.99% variable
Foreign Transaction Fee None


Why we like this card: Don’t let the term “Miles” mislead you–Capital One’s travel points are redeemable for any travel purchase made with your Venture X card within 90 days of purchase–including hotels. That means the card’s 75,000-mile welcome bonus plus $300 annual travel credit are good for $1,050 worth of hotel stays, and you’ll get 10X for booking hotels through Capital One Travel to boot. 

But the Venture X’s most alluring perk may actually be its airport lounge access–you and two guests will gain unlimited entry to over 1,300 lounges across the Capital One Lounge, Priority Pass and Plaza Premium Group networks. So as you’re checking out of the Ritz, you can look forward to free Wi-Fi and Biscoff cookies until boarding. 

All things considered, the Capital One Venture X is a compelling travel companion that quickly pays for itself with generous annual credits. 

Frequently asked questions

Which card is best for free hotel nights?

The IHG One Rewards Premier card is the best overall card for earning free nights in 2024. It comes with a bananas welcome bonus good for over a week at a Holiday Inn Express (or five-ish at a fancier property), a free anniversary night, a redeem-three-get-one night bonus and up to 26X on IHG stays. 

Which Hilton card gives you a free night? 

The Hilton Honors Aspire card offers a free award night after each account anniversary. 

How many points do you need for a free hotel stay? 

The points required for a free hotel stay can vary by brand, property, timing, date and other factors. But very broadly speaking, an off-peak night at a budget property can start around 7,500 to 10,000 points, while a night at the Ritz or other ultra high-end property can hover between 50,000 and 100,000+. 


Please note that card details are accurate as of the publish date, but are subject to change at any time at the discretion of the issuer. Please contact the card issuer to verify rates, fees, and benefits before applying. 

Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefits guide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company. 

Fortune Recommends™ has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Fortune Recommends™ and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. 



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